You’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, and the full consequences of a DUI are beginning to hit you. Not only have you lost your driver’s license, you may have also just found out that you are at risk of losing your professional license and the career you’ve worked so hard to build.
While you can’t take back whatever led to your DUI, you can take the right steps now to protect your license and limit the professional fallout. Get more personalized guidance regarding your DUI case by calling Olmstead & Olmstead at 703-361-1555.
Will Your License Be Affected?
First, try not to panic before you even know what will happen. While many professional licensing boards do directly address criminal convictions in their rules and regulations, it’s not a given. There are still quite a few licensing boards that don’t automatically punish a license holder for getting a DUI.
Before assuming the worst, go to your licensing board website. Check through their rules and regulations as closely as you can and look for any mention of felonies, misdemeanors, or moral behavior. A DUI could be addressed under any of these areas. From there, you can figure out exactly what will happen to you and how to move forward.
Don’t Try to Hide Your DUI
Once you know what your licensing board does for licensees with a DUI, don’t try to cover up what has happened. That can actually make your situation worse, as your licensing board will then believe that you make unsafe decisions and actively choose to lie about them. Sometimes you have to face the music, and this is likely one of those times. Again, check the rules and regulations of your licensing board to see what a licensee is expected to do if they are arrested or convicted.
If you are struggling to understand what you are supposed to do or how you can meet the requirements of your board, a professional license attorney with experience in your industry is an excellent resource.
Prepare for a Hearing
In many situations, a DUI requires a hearing in front of your licensing board. Keep in mind that they are not necessarily out to get you. There is a world of options between “pretending your DUI never happened” and “banning you from your industry for life,” and their decision will likely fall somewhere in the middle.
Know what to expect from a hearing. You may want to talk to a union representative, talk about your options with a professional licensing attorney who works with people in your field or talk to others who have been in your shoes. You’ll want to know what questions they will ask and what the possible outcomes are.
Maintain Your Professionalism
You may feel attacked or embarrassed as you prepare to meet with your licensing board. Under no circumstances should you let those feelings take over when you are speaking to the board. Acting unprofessional, lashing out, or blaming your DUI on someone else will give the licensing board cause for concern. You’ll want to maintain a professional appearance, take responsibility for your actions, and present a clear plan for how you can move forward. Be ready to note your contributions to the field and how you want to continue growing in your industry.
Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney
No matter what your career plans are, you should talk to a criminal defense attorney before you do anything else. Avoiding a conviction may be the easiest way to minimize professional licensing issues and protect your future. However, waiting too long to talk to a criminal defense attorney can limit your options and leave you facing jail time, massive fines, or the loss of your professional license.
Meet with an attorney right as soon as possible, talk about your licensing concerns with them, and make a plan. They may be able to help with your licensing concerns or recommend a specialized attorney to help you with your concerns.
Discuss Your Options with Olmstead & Olmstead
We know that a DUI can leave you feeling hopeless, overwhelmed, and scared. With the right legal team on your side, you can put your best foot forward. Set up a meeting with Olmstead & Olmstead now by or calling us directly at 703-361-1555.